Why are bicycle flags NOT more popular?


Flag waving for cyclists…

Out of the ten other touring cyclists we have met, not one has had a flag. All the motorists, motorcyclists and truckies we have met have been extremely complimentary about our flags. They truly DO want to be able to see us as far ahead of them as possible. I have heard complaint after complaint from motorists about cyclists not being visible – so why so few flagwavers?

I think partly this is because of the perception that flags are for kids. A peception I believe may even extend to the manufacturers themselves who do not seem to make flags as durable as they could.

Ours, for instance, did not stand up to high winds or being taken off the bike repeatedly. The glue beneath the flag quickly dries out and the flag requires duct tape or a plastic clamp to secure it.

Also, some flags are designed to go on the back wheel axel and come with a metal plate to attach it there. For a tourer, this is hopeless as your panniers and rack are in the way.

Instead, we have had to devise our own attachment system using a hacksaw, cable ties, a twig and reticulation connectors. We attach the reticulation piping to the rack with cable ties then place the flag inside it secured with a twig as the pipe is too large for the flag.

The attachment system…

Plastic reticulation connectors, reticulation ends and cable ties can be purchased for under a dollar in most hardware stores. We keep a hacksaw on our bikes taped on along with our spokes and have used this to saw off the metal attachment plate. And a piece of wooden doweling can be used but twigs are freely available under any tree…


Cheap ways to attach flags…

Many flags that we’ve seen come in two parts which is very handy. In cities, when we are walking our bikes along the pavement, we have to be very careful not to whip people in the face with it. It is much easier to take off half your flag than the whole flag and, when necessary, the disconnectable top half becomes an excellent and humane dog deterrent!

Unfortunately, there is a lot of stress on the plastic at this halfway point which we have tried to alleviate using cable ties and which the flag manufacturers have tried to alleviate using connecting metal clamps on the latest flags.


Flags come in two parts…

Ok, so you may look like a dork with a flag. But is it that much dorkier than lycra? Isnt it better to look like a dork than to look like roadkill? Flags are inexpensive and available from bike stores everywhere.